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Posts Tagged ‘manhattan’

The day had finally arrived. The day I had been dreading. The day I would pick fabric for my mirror turned headboard.

Late last year, a friend was cat sitting and broke my mirror. It wasn’t just any mirror. It was a massive, ancient, heavy-as-all-get-out mirror. Once I cleaned up the shards of mirror, I realized the frame could be reutilized as a headboard.

I measured it, it was PERFECT.

Another element to help my apartment feel like a home. Not just any home, my home. A home I built with my own two hands, even if I didn’t construct the walls, install the plumbing, or do any of the other stick-built stuff.

Great idea, make it a headboard. Only problem, I’m gonna have to pick fabric! Grrr.

A friend recommended Zarin Fabrics on Grand. I love P & S Fabrics on Broadway for knitting supplies, and I know they carry fabric (it’s in the name after all). And my beloved and trusted Apartment Therapy recommended Purl on Broome.

Here’s what I found at Zarin:

Option 1

Option 1

This is the first fabric I found that deserved capturing. Granted I forgot about it on the rest of my walk. I will say that having seen it again, I really like it. I am very much considering going back for a second look; maybe I should make the headboard fabric interchangeable…

Up next:

Option 2

Option

Another option:

Option 3

Option 3

Yet Another:

Option 4

Option 4

Finally, one last option:

Option 5

Option 5

Zarin was a gold mine. A gold mine of expensive options. Expensive by my taste and experience, certainly not by the standards of Manhattan where I understand you can purchase fabric at ABC Home for upwards of $200 / yd.

Off to P&S Fabrics on a wing and a prayer. Is that the right use of that phrase? Regardless, the prayer was that they would have a fabric equally or more memorable than the above fabrics.

No luck. I did find a solution to my “batting” issue for the headboard, excellent!

Thinking Purl was open as their website indicated, I walked up Broadway to Broome then cut over. When they weren’t, Happy Easter Sunday, I headed back to Zarin.

Here’s the fabric I picked:

Testing My Selection

Testing My Selection

They were wonderful. At that price, they should be.

Immediately I got home, I tested it in the frame. There’s a lot of work left to do, but mainly I have to figure out how to keep everything in place as they backing is falling apart…

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When I started what I thought was Apartment Therapy’s The Cure, I thought, ‘Well at least I won’t have to paint. I still love the color I painted my apartment when I moved in.”

HA!

Square that: HAHA!

Turns out, after looking at what I can only estimate has been THOUSANDS of pictures online or in books, I realized, “Oh crap! I want a different color scheme for my space.”

For years, my rooms were always relaxing colors: light blues, light purples. When I moved out on my own and into this space, I chose a solid yellow. Bright, but deep. Oh, Sunny Days, how you lit up my apartment the first year I was here.

Benjamin Moore's Sunny Days

Then I saw this space, and realized what my space was missing: sophistication.

Sophisticated Color Scheme with Color

Don’t get me wrong, Sunny Days has a lot to offer. Like any troubled relationship, I struggled to call it to an end. There are things about Sunny Days I continue to find attractive. And yet, something else was calling to me.

Then another color scheme caught me:

Stolen Inspiration

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Seeing a pattern?

Then I realized the yellow would be gone from my life, which saddened me. I suffer from separation anxiety. I wasn’t completely ready to end things. So I painted my kitchen. Yellow.

Painting in Progress

Final (but poorly lit) Yellow Kitchen

Now, before I bring in new furniture, build some pieces, and go any further … I’m going to paint my apartment’s main room. It also helps that I found a coupon for a free paint sample. Nothing like a expiration date to return my momentum.

What colors to pick, though?!?!

I brought home the freebie (all 2 oz.) and two quarts of mixed-just-for-me paints. Then I headed home, and threw them up on the walls to see what I liked.

Getting a photograph of them on my actual wall was too difficult a task for my camera and lighting options. Here are the colors straight from the Benjamin Moore site:

Schooner - The Front Runner

Schooner - The Front Runner

Mt. Rainier Gray

Mt. Rainier Gray

Metallic Silver

Metallic Silver

I was struggling with which walls to paint.

I knew one needed to be a luminescent white. Something to help enlarge the space. I’m thinking Benjamin Moore’s Gardenia, and I know one of the four walls that will be white.

There are three other walls.

Do I go with a bold color (Schooner), which probably means three white walls and one dramatic wall? Or do I paint two, maybe three, one of the lighter colors? Oh, the dilemma that’s facing me!

While I ponder, a few picture frames are down to provide enough space to test out the colors.

Your choice … weigh in on colors or wait and see what happens next. I have until this weekend to decide. I’d like to have this decision and the painting behind me by weekend end. (Is that even a thing? Weekend end?)

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My front door lands you in my kitchen. It’s a small kitchen, but it’s all mine! I also think it’s a really cute kitchen, but it also has to play more than kitchen. It has to play:

  • Foyer,
  • Landing Strip,
  • Storage / Pantry,
  • and finally, Kitchen

When I first moved in, I decided to turn the coat closet (immediately to the right of the front door) into a pantry. In addition to holding pots, pans, 5 lbs of sugar, and other kitchen essentials … it held cleaning supplies, bags, coats, and stored a lot of things from my great-aunt’s that I’d like to keep or Etsy.

I was also storing things under the sink, in the upper cupboard, and just about everywhere. Because of the many roles this space plays, it was always cluttered. The floor was always flooded with bags, boxes, shoes … anything and everything.

That image is pretty cleaned up. Here are a few more:

First, I made a major IKEA run. I’d always wanted a roll-in-and-out recycling / garbage system. IKEA offers one RATIONELL that was in my price range. Ok, I picked up a few other things at IKEA, too, but we’ll get to those.

One weekend, I cleaned out the upper cabinet and under the sink. Then I installed the RATIONELL system. Now, as long as I keep the bags, boxes, shoes in order … the garbage recycling over which I’d been tripping before is now out of the way.

Check this out:

You can pull the garbage / recycling center out:

or … You can push it back under and out of sight:

By this time, I’ve already taken down the faux-fan above the stove, and replaced it with a microwave shelf. That was fun! Or at least the part where I kept securing the brackets in the wrong direction was.

Fingers crossed, it’s still up!

Oh, and I put down an great rag rug that I’m hoping lasts awhile, but FitzKitty’s claws are drawn to it like magnets. Meh.

Next up:

  • Completing the under-the-kitchen-sink overhaul by installing an ELFA system for the pots, pans. This will let me reclaim my coat closet;
  • Reclaim the coat closet with the stated goal of finding a home for an un-as-yet-purchased Kitchen Aid and, potentially, a sewing machine;
  • Rearrange the furniture in the “main room”;
  • Weed out the things I’m keeping out of inertia and the things I really need / want;
  • Build a bed … no seriously;
  • Reclaim my clothes closet so I can get rid of my awful shoes on the back of the door rack;
  • and more!

Time to put down some roots … give my cat (FitzKitty) and myself a home. Amen.

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When I moved into my new studio, it had *brand new* bathroom. It was one of the selling points. Honest, they tore out the previous bathroom!

New means new.

I didn’t embrace it. I gave it a cursory thought, threw my “bathroom” stuff in it, and called it done.

First thing I did, when I decided to take control of my apartment, was the bathroom. It’s small, which meant I could see immediate transformation. To Do:

  1. Take down the painting I love, but that’s sadly not “right” for the space;
  2. Purchase floating shelves for the space between the medicine cabinet and the wall;
  3. Clean out the medicine cabinet AND the vanity;
  4. Screw in cup-hooks to hold my hair-dryer, brush, and mirror in that small space between the pipes and the edge of the vanity.

Ready? Here we go!

Originally there was a “public” toilet in the bathroom. You know, the kind without a tank? Silver, metal piping with a handle that makes you think you should use your foot to flush. Thank goodness there’s a tank toilet, now! But it was overwhelmed with junk, slightly hidden by messy towels on the bar above, and with an ill-fitting painting above. Look:

It’s amazing what some shelving can do!

So little work! So much better! Love the silhouettes from my great-grandmother and the jars from my great-aunt’s.

Last improvement? The cup-hooks for my haircare implements:

Every day I feel like I’m at the spa, and isn’t that how your bathroom should make you feel? Yes, yes it should.

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Even when I don’t think I have much to say.

Here’s the thing, I’m a little scattered about this. Is this a photography blog? Is it a project blog? Is it a travel blog? I guess it could be everything; I just gotta get better about posting daily. Or almost daily.

What am I doing now? I’m overhauling my apartment in prep of March’s The Cure with Apartment Therapy. Originally I thought it was an online-group project tackling thing, but it’s a Spring cleaning online support group. Well, each area of my minuscule East Village apartment needs to be cleaned out AND cleaned. Most of it needs a total overhaul in terms of organization, furniture, and (sometimes) purpose.

That’s what I’m doing. Along with learning many other lessons, one lesson I’m learning is that the before pictures I think will be important … aren’t. Working on that.

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At the end of last year, I was really hibernating.

from friends, from family, from errands, from clutter, from … well, you name it. I was ‘hibernating’.

Hibernating from just about everything but work.

This year, I’ve returned home with a surprising new commitment to living my life. After months of recoiling from civilization, I’ve come out with a vengeance!

Maybe it was all the snow days that did it.

null

When I returned, I found I wanted to have dinner with a friend sooner rather than later. And then drinks with another sooner rather than later. Before I knew it, I was attacking things in my life from which I’d been ‘hibernating’ last year.

I was surprised. I hadn’t made New Year’s resolutions, rather I’d been denouncing them, even. But here I was, with several:

1. Get back out into the world. Embrace my friends. Maybe make some new ones.
2. Finish all the unfinished projects in my apartment, especially since it appears I’ll be renewing my lease.

In the coming weeks, you’ll see a lot of photographs about my home DIY projects. Do you ever find you have to tackle something more than once to get it right? I sure do.

So while I’m reconnecting with friends and making new ones, I’m also going to take a first stab at Apartment Therapy’s The Cure. I even bought the book.

Given my track record with personal projects, I’m going to give it a once through before the actual spring cure starts around March.

Snow day at TSP! Time to make some soup!

This year, look forward to food pictures, travel pictures, and before / after project pictures!



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Every morning (and probably every night, though I’m too tired to notice) I pass this bike. And while I don’t have a bike, I think this might be one of the coolest bikes in the city. But I don’t have much to judge by … except all the other bikes I walk past. None of which, okay maybe one or two sweet-ass Raleighs, are nearly as sweet as this bike.

So, I took its picture. Don’t you totally agree it deserved it? Yeah, I thought so, too.

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